KARACHI: Pakistan’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports surged 123.3 percent to $1.19 billion in the first four months of the fiscal year (July-October 2018-2019) as the country opts for imported gas to bridge the gas shortfall of around 3.0 billion cubic feet/day. For the month of October 2018 alone, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports stood at $24.5 million. State owned Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) has invited bids from international suppliers for the supply of three liquid natural gas (LNG) cargoes of 140,000 cubic meters each for January-February 2019 on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis at Port Qasim Karachi. The first delivery window is from January 21-22, the second from February 03-04 and the third from February 21-211, 2019 for spot purchase. The bids will be opened on December 05, 2018. The cargoes will be delivered on a DES basis to Pakistan Gas Port Consortium Terminal at Port Qasim. It may be mentioned here that PLL had invited bids for five 140,000 cubic meters of LNG supplies in its last tender issued in June 2018. Pakistan is expected to face gas shortages this winter despite having two operational FSRUs. The country’s Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has suggested that Pakistan’s growing number of gas customers is placing a severe strain on its infrastructure and affecting the availability of the fuel. Industrial users have already been warned that their supply could be cut during the winter months to ensure there is enough gas for the residential sector. Pakistan’s overall oil import bill increased by 16.8 percent year-on-year to $5.17 billion during the first four months of the current fiscal year (July-October 2018-19) largely due to the rise in global oil prices. In terms of quantity, petroleum products fell by 40.33 percent to 3.65 million tonnes while that of petroleum crude was down 11.33 percent to 3.17 million tonnes. The data breakdown shows that the surge in the petroleum group bill was driven by crude oil, soaring by 44.97 percent to $1.68 billion during July-October as against $1.16 billion over the corresponding months of last year. The import of petroleum products during the period clocked at $2.23 billion compared with imports of $2.63 billion in the same period last year. It may be mentioned here overall petroleum products sales declined 32 percent to 1.65 million tons in October 2018, primarily because of shifting of power generation from furnace oil (FO) to RLNG and coal based generation resulting in lower demand of FO.